Comparative effectiveness of upfront esophagectomy versus induction chemoradiation in clinical stage T2N0 esophageal cancer: A decision analysis

Tara R. Semenkovich, Roheena Z. Panni, Jessica L. Hudson, Theodore Thomas, Leisha C. Elmore, Su Hsin Chang, Bryan F. Meyers, Benjamin D. Kozower, Varun Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: We compared the effectiveness of upfront esophagectomy versus induction chemoradiation followed by esophagectomy for overall survival in patients with clinical T2N0 (cT2N0) esophageal cancer. We also assessed the influence of the diagnostic uncertainty of endoscopic ultrasound on the expected benefit of chemoradiation. Methods: We created a decision analysis model representing 2 treatment strategies for cT2N0 esophageal cancer: upfront esophagectomy that may be followed by adjuvant therapy for upstaged patients and induction chemoradiation for all patients with cT2N0 esophageal cancer followed by esophagectomy. Parameter values within the model were obtained from published data, and median survival for pathologic subgroups was derived from the National Cancer Database. In sensitivity analyses, staging uncertainty of endoscopic ultrasound was introduced by varying the probability of pathologic upstaging. Results: The baseline model showed comparable median survival for both strategies: 48.3 months for upfront esophagectomy versus 45.9 months for induction chemoradiation and surgery. The sensitivity analysis demonstrated induction chemoradiation was beneficial, with probability of upstaging > 48.1%, which is within the published range of 32% to 65% probability of pathologic upstaging after cT2N0 diagnosis. The presence of any of 3 key variables (size larger than 3 cm, high grade, or lymphovascular invasion) was associated with > 48.1% risk of upstaging, thus conferring a survival advantage to induction chemoradiation. Conclusions: The optimal treatment strategy for cT2N0 esophageal cancer depends on the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound staging. High-risk features that confer increased probability of upstaging can inform clinical decision making to recommend induction chemoradiation for select cT2N0 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2221-2230.e1
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • endoscopic ultrasound
  • esophageal cancer
  • esophagectomy
  • induction chemoradiation


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